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Mets 2020 Draft: Why a five-round draft is bad news for New York

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 12: A baseball hat and a glove sit on the bench in the dugout before a game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 12, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 3-1. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 12: A baseball hat and a glove sit on the bench in the dugout before a game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 12, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 3-1. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
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What does a shortened MLB Draft in 2020 mean for the New York Mets?

On Friday, it was announced that 2020 MLB Amateur Draft reportedly shortened to five rounds amid COVID-19 concerns, as opposed to their planned 40 round draft. This decision alone primarily impacts over 1,000 prospects from the college and high school that expected to be drafted this summer. It’s a big blow for the future of baseball, and like many teams, will hurt the New York Mets in a big way.

Many high school prospect will likely forgo free agency and declare for colleges, and declare for a future MLB draft after finishing school. As for the many college players who go undrafted, they will become free agents and sign undrafted with a club, eligible for a maximum contract of $20,000.

Over the past few seasons, the Mets have really chipped away at their farm system in an effort to acquire blue-chip Major League players to aid in their postseason aspirations, and as a result, currently have one of the weaker minor league systems in the MLB.

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While they do still have their top prospects, such as Ronny Mauricio, Andres Gimenez and Brett Batty, very few of their top 30 prospects are close to being MLB ready, and the lack of a minor league season in 2020 will likely prolong this.

Replenishing their farm system with this years draft and the team will still retain its picks through the first five rounds.

However, hopefully picking up some sleeper pick in the later rounds was a key part of New York’s plan for long term success, and unfortunately, now that those rounds have been eliminated this could have a long-lasting effect on the Mets.

For example, key players for the Mets last season like Jeff McNeil (12th round), Seth Lugo (34th round), and Robert Gsellman (13th round) were all selected after this years draft cut off was set, and missing out on them could have definitively altered last season’s projection.

Perhaps most notable of all, Jacob deGrom wasn’t drafted until the ninth round.

As stated, any undrafted players will have the option to sign with major league clubs as free agents, so there is a chance to salvage the shortened draft by signing amateur prospects, however, with the lack of a draft order, there is no guarantee the Mets will pick up the prospects they are interested in.

Next. Best Mets drafted after round 10

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The Mets are not alone in this dilemma, as every Major League Baseball team will have to deal with this year’s unprecedented draft format. However, because of this team’s particularly weak minor league system, this could have a harrowing effect on the team’s outlook in the future.

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